Global Volunteer Month, celebrated throughout April, is a time to recognize people who actively support their communities through volunteerism and active civic engagement. It’s also a time to get in on the action. However, if you’re like many people, you may not know where to begin.
Research from Points of Light, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action that changes the world, shows 73% of people believe that volunteering is more important than ever, yet 66% think they can’t make a big impact in their communities. Global Volunteer Month can help point people in the right direction.
“April is an annual opportunity for companies and nonprofits to inspire individuals to action, share stories of those doing good, and create a pathway for continued engagement,” said Diane Quest, interim president and CEO, Points of Light. “Over the past four years since our inaugural Global Volunteer Month, we have seen people increase their commitments to creating a just and equitable world.”
This year, Points of Light is partnering with leading sponsor Phillips 66 and supporting sponsor UPS to encourage individuals, nonprofits and corporate partners to engage in their communities. As part of the campaign, they are sharing four great ways to participate:
- Stay Local: While volunteering with any type of mission can help to better the world, people tend to be more impacted by volunteer opportunities from which they can observe the fruits of their labor. Collaborate with local nonprofits to affect change in the place where you live, work and play. Visit Points of Light Engage, https://engage.pointsoflight.org/, to find an opportunity today in your city or zip code and based on your interests.
- Volunteer With Friends and Family: Families can support their communities by volunteering together. Consider working at a local food bank, participating in community clean-up initiatives, or organizing donation drives for local charities. Volunteering as a family not only provides a chance for quality time together but also encourages children to develop empathy and social responsibility. By volunteering, families can strengthen relationships, build community connections, and make a positive impact in their communities.
- Recognize and Expand What You’re Already Doing: While many of us think about volunteering in a formal way with longer time commitments and structures, civic engagement comes in all forms. Informal actions like helping a neighbor and leveraging your purchase power all make up civic action. Ask yourself: how could I take three to five actions around one cause area that’s important to me to make greater impact? Find out how through the Points of Light Civic Circle https://www.pointsoflight.org/civic-circle/.
- Say a Simple Thank You: At its core, Global Volunteer Month is about thanking those already volunteering and making an impact. Take a minute to send a thank you to a special volunteer in your life or an organization that is giving its time and talent to make your community stronger.
“There are many paths to living a full, civic life. Now is the perfect time to make a plan to join the celebration, today and every day,” says Quest.